SAN FRANCISCO, United States — Inspired by sites like Kickstarter, venture-backed online retailer Everlane has launched a crowdfunding campaign, dubbed CrowdFundCanada, to gauge consumer interest before launching in the Canadian market. At time of publication, the company was over 70 percent of the way towards its goal of raising $100,000 in pre-orders and credits from Canadian consumers by March 21, having raised $70,325 from over 970 contributors.
"So many retailers enter new markets with little knowledge of whether there’s excitement there. As a young company running a lean business, we want to tread carefully and allocate our resources in a way that makes sense," Everlane founder and CEO, Michael Preysman, told BoF. "CrowdFundCanada is designed to gauge demand there before investing significant company resources."
A "transparent retailer" that only sells online, Everlane's business model cuts out the middlemen, and markups, associated with physical retail, offering consumers high quality basics — including t-shirts, sweatshirts, cashmere sweaters and button down shirts — at a significant discount. "A traditional designer shirt is sold at over 50 different stores and is marked up 8 times by the time it reaches you. At Everlane, we bypass these channels and create the shortest path from our designs to your hands," says a statement on the company's website.